Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NxNW's "Washington Grown" season premiere party tonight at the Magic Lantern

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Stowell rib eye and gratin, a Washington Grown recipe.
  • Stowell rib eye and gratin, a Washington Grown recipe.

Washington Grown, a 13-episode television series highlighting local farms, premieres its second season with a preview party tonight at 5:30 pm at the Magic Lantern

The show was created by Spokane film studio North by Northwest, in partnership with the Washington Farmers and Ranchers. The latter is an organization that helps promote the locally owned farmers in our state.

A new "food journey" is chronicled in each episode, beginning at a Washington farm where an ingredient or product is grown, and following the goods as they travel to a local restaurant to be prepared. Spokane restaurants Sante, Luna and the Steam Plant are among those to be featured in season two. 

During the preview, the Magic Lantern is serving light hors d'oeuvres and drinks, because what's the point of watching a food show without snacks? 

Northwest Cable News airs Washington Grown on Sundays at noon and 8:30 pm beginning this week. Episodes can also be streamed online the following Monday after its original airing at Also on the site, find recipes for many of the featured ingredients and restaurants on the show. Several caught our eye — including Dick's fries and Sweet Frostings' cupcakes.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Nectar Wine and Beer coming to Kendall Yards

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 3:07 PM

We keep a close eye on the businesses popping up around Inlander headquarters and rarely a day goes by without someone in our office starting a sentence with, "You know what would do really well in this neighborhood..."

Well, the people who thought Kendall Yards needed a place to pick up a bottle of wine or some craft beer, or another option for a drink, got their wish. Josh Wade, the owner of Nectar Tasting Room, the popular wine purveyor located downtown on Stevens, announced that he's opening Nectar Beer and Wine in Kendall Yards.

The new Nectar is set to go into the space next to Veraci Pizza. And yes, that means they get in on one of the best patios in the city, overlooking the river.

Wade says Nectar Wine and Beer will be both a retail shop and a wine bar and hopes to have the spot open by February or March.

"The main goal is to be the wine and beer speciality shop for Kendall Yards. It’s going to be more retail-oriented so you can buy a bottle of wine and bring it back to your house or apartment," says Wade.

The space will also offer cheese plates and serve a dozen local, regional and specialty craft beers and as many as 30 wines by the glass.

To get the project rolling, Nectar has announced a Kickstarter campaign where future customers can invest for rewards ranging from a wine glass to an all-expenses-paid trip to Walla Walla.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Batch Bakeshop and CdA's Vault Coffee open; farmers markets wind down

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 4:19 PM

  • Project Hope Spokane Facebook

Batch Bakeshop opened for business in its new storefront in the West Central neighborhood last week. Owner and baking guru Mika Maloney has operated the small-batch venture since 2011, working out of a shared commercial kitchen before securing a permanent space. The move was in part made possible by a successful $15,000 Kickstarter campaign funded late last year.

The bakery is now located in a quaint, 1903 building at 2023 W. Dean that originally housed a butcher shop. Current business hours are Tues-Fri, from 7 am-4 pm. Don't worry — you can still find Batch's delicious goodies at the South Perry Thursday Market, the West Central Marketplace, local coffee shops, and also now in Sante's bakery case.

Speaking of baked yumminess and Sante, the opening date for Chef Jeremy Hansen's new bakery venture, Common Crumb Bakery, inside the yet-to-open Saranac Commons, sounds like it's close to debuting — sometime in October. 

Continue reading »

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Got Hops? Local breweries need them for fresh hop brews

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 4:54 PM

There's a reason that September is one of my favorite months of the year. It's not the arrival of football, although that doesn't hurt, but rather the appearance of fresh-hop beers at local breweries.

For the uninitiated, fresh-hop beers are made from whole hop flowers that are freshly harvested and put into the brewing process. If the brewer gets to them within a couple days of being picked, the hops release an oil that gives the beer a stronger, richer hop flavor. The process also makes the beer smell like what I imagine God's beer smells like.

Tomorrow, Iron Goat Brewing is brewing up its Spo Hop beer for the second straight year and again is asking for the public's help. If you have hops growing in your yard, cut those vines and bring them to Iron Goat for the Spo Hop picking party between 11 am and 2 pm, at which point the hops will be dumped into the brew. If you help pick or bring in your own hops, you get $2 off pints of Spo Hop when it arrives. There will be music at 3 pm.

Here's a look at last year's party.

Spo-Hop 2013 - Iron Goat Brewing Co. from Purple Crayon Pictures on Vimeo.

Laughing Dog Brewing up in Sandpoint is also making a fresh hop beer and has had volunteers picking hops the last couple of days. They've been giving those who pick hops a free beer for every half hour of work on the vines. They'll be brewing up their award-winning fresh-hop beer this weekend, and plan to have it on tap by the end of the month.

Volunteers have been helping pick hops the last couple days for Laughing Dog Brewing in Sandpoint.
  • Volunteers have been helping pick hops the last couple days for Laughing Dog Brewing in Sandpoint.

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Dawn of the Donut to close next week

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Dawn of the Donut opened its doors last August. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Dawn of the Donut opened its doors last August.

Within an hour after announcing an impending, permanent closure on its Facebook page, more than 80 customers and fans of Dawn of the Donut had shared their surprise and began mourning its departure.

The short-lived, zombie-themed donut shop — which served eclectically-named and unusually-topped pastries reminiscent of Portland's Voodoo Doughnuts — near the crest of the North Division Street hill was in business a little more than a year. Dawn of the Donut's last day of business is Sunday, Sept. 14. 

While many commenters shared their sorrow over its short lifespan, others lamented the shop's mornings-only hours, saying that made it difficult to patronize.

Owner Martin Judnich, an attorney who lives in Missoula, tells the Inlander his choice to close the business was not for financial reasons, but rather a personal choice that was largely due to the challenges of being a long-distance business owner. 

"It's basically just time," Judnich says of the decision. "We have had our difficulties and ups and downs all year, and I had a hard time spending time at the shop."

He adds that he's working with a broker to potentially sell the business, but no deals have arisen yet. Dawn of the Donut's mobile unit — a white truck covered in red paint handprint streaks — which often set up shop downtown during the evenings, is also ceasing to operate with the storefront, Judnich confirms.

Dawn of the Donut assistant manager Nikki Roberts was just as surprised as the shop's fans to learn of its end. She says two days ago, the business's 12-person staff was heading into a meeting to plan for fall and winter, but instead of that, they were informed of the closure.

"I am extremely surprised," Roberts says. "We're all very disappointed. We have to find new jobs now, and we had big plans. We just made a deal to work at the haunted maze in Hauser [Idaho], and some fall zombie hikes around town. We had big plans, and it turned out to be totally unexpected."

Roberts encourages anyone with a Groupon for the shop to come in and use it before the closing date on Sept. 14.

UPDATE: Almost a week after this posting, the business posted the following update on their Facebook page, around 10 am on Thur, Sept. 11:

"Good news Spokane! It appears that the process has been started for new ownership of Dawn of the Donut and we can keep our doors open and donuts coming. So, we will be staying open past this weekend, and we will be moving toward bigger and betting things very soon. Thank you all for your wonderful support. We will keep you posted."

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Washington Cider Week, Valley gets a Hop Jack's and new gluten-free shop opens

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Fall is coming whether you like it or not, so what better way to usher in the season than Washington Cider Week? Our region's own handful of cideries are hosting events in celebration of the fourth annual statewide event, happening Sept. 4-14. For its fourth year, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed an official proclamation designating 10 days of September to celebrate cider made from our state's apple bounty.

Meanwhile, across the stateline, Coeur d'Alene's new North Idaho Cider is prepping for a late fall launch of its first batch of Lake City Cider.

Just in time for WA Cider Week, Green Bluff-based Twilight Cider Works has released two new ciders, a seasonal peach cider and its Winesap cider, a bold, single varietal cider that's perfect for autumn.

Green Bluff is home to a new brewery, 238 Brewing Co., whose name harkens back to the days of operator switchboards, when 238 was the prefix for Green Bluff area farms. Currently its owners are looking to officially open at the beginning of October.

A long-vacant spot on the southern edge of the Browne's Addition neighborhood is getting a new purpose as Hacienda Las Flores plans to relocate its market and restaurant to the old Sunset Junction bar from its spot at Freya and Fifth.

A new gluten-free bakery and restaurant, Cole's Fine Foods, opened about two weeks ago in a North Spokane retail center at 521 E. Holland. Its product list includes muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, cakes, pizza and pizza crusts, dinner roles, crackers, baking mixes and more.

A second Spokane-area location of Hop Jack's, a Washington state-based chain with a focus on Northwest beers, is set to open at the Spokane Valley Mall later this year. 

Early plans have surfaced for a proposed restaurant/bar and card room at the former site of Scout Tavern on the street level of the Montvale Hotel. Yet, because the property is managed by a Chapter 11 trustee after owner Rob Brewster filed for bankruptcy early last year, it's unknown when or if the plans could move forward. A recent liquor license application for the space, at 1001 W. First, was posted last week on the WSLCB site, under the business name Sutton's on First. We spoke with the license applicant, Stephen Weinstein, on the phone this afternoon, and the Park City, Utah-based owner told us he's still waiting for an update on his lease proposal from the property's trustee. We will continue to follow these developments on the prominent downtown space and share any updates.

We'll continue to follow up on possible developments for a new restaurant tenant in the Montvale building. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • We'll continue to follow up on possible developments for a new restaurant tenant in the Montvale building.

The Library Lounge bar at the Quality Inn hotel on East Fourth Avenue downtown has closed. 

New owners of the former Globe Bar & Grille space at the corner of Division and Main, and the same team behind the adjacent Blind Buck bar, plan to open a to-be-named bar and dance club

A new Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Thinh appears to be moving into a long-vacant space at 6022 N. Division, near the Francis-Division intersection, which years ago housed a Pizza Hut restaurant.

It's going to be upon us before we know it — the Washington Beer Commission's annual Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival. It's set for Sept. 26-27, and this year moves to a new venue — Avista Stadium — from it's past takeover of Riverfront Park's Gondola Meadow. Tickets are on sale now, and a list of participating breweries (including 11 from Spokane and four other regional beer makers) can be found online along with all the event need-to-knows.

Check out highlights of No-Li 12, the brewery's recent small batch beer fest, featuring 12 rare beers, most of which you could only try at the sold-out event. Hopefully you were there, but if you weren't, find out what you missed in the video below. Also, keep an eye out for No-Li's first-ever barrel-aged beer that's been bottled — Blackfill — of which only 1,200 bottles were distributed around the region.

Read previous food news here. Find food events here. Sign up for the Entree newsletter here.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Area farmers markets are at their peak — don't miss them while it lasts

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

  • Liberty Lake Farmers Market Facebook
  • All fresh and all local.

As we approach the unofficial end of summer with Labor Day Weekend just ahead, local farms and gardens around the region are bursting with the bounties of the late summer's harvest. Fresh tomatoes, zucchinis, peaches, cucumbers, corn, peppers, apples and more can be found at the Inland Northwest's many farmers markets. Green Bluff's farms and orchards are also at their peak, and peaches are the fruit of the moment.

Scrolling through our online database of area markets, one may notice that several are a short month or so from wrapping up the 2014 seasons at the end of September. Don't miss out on the chance to enjoy our region's bounty before it's too late. 

Big Red Barn Farmers Market | Saturdays through Sept. 27, from 8 am-1 pm. Pioneer Plaza, 605 Morgan St., Davenport, Wash. (280-9896)

Bonners Ferry Farmers Market
 | Saturdays through Oct. 31, from 8 am-1 pm. Corner of Hwy. 95 and Kootenai Street, Bonners Ferry, Idaho. (208-267-2780)

Cheney Farmers Market
 | Tuesdays through Sept. 23, from 2-7 pm. Cheney City Hall parking lot, 609 Second St. (235-2223)

Chewelah Farmers Market |
 Fridays through Oct. 17, from 11:30 am-5:30 pm. City Park, 600 N. Park St., Chewelah, Wash. (936-4353)

Clayton Farmers Market
 | Sundays through Sept. 28, from noon-4 pm. Clayton Fairgrounds, 4616 Wallbridge Rd., Clayton, Wash. (276-9644)

Coeur d’Alene Farmers Market
 | Wednesdays through Sept. 24, from 4-7 pm. Sherman Avenue and Fifth Street, downtown Coeur d’Alene. (208-772-2290)

Colville Farmers Market | Wednesdays through October, from noon-5 pm. Stevens County Fairgrounds, 317 W. Astor Ave., Colville, Wash. (732-6619)

Emerson-Garfield Farmers Market | Fridays through Oct. 17, from 3-7 pm. Knox Presbyterian Church parking lot, 806 W. Knox. (398-9628)

Hayden Farmers Market
 | Saturdays through Oct. 18, from 9 am-1:30 pm. Corner of Hwy. 95 and Prairie Ave., Hayden. (208-772-2290)

Liberty Lake Farmers Market |
 Saturdays through Oct. 11, from 9 am-1 pm. 1421 N. Meadowwood Ln., Liberty Lake. (879-4965)

Fresh eggplant from Tolstoy Farms, a vendor at the weekly Spokane Farmers Market. - SPOKANE FARMERS MARKET FACEBOOK
  • Spokane Farmers Market Facebook
  • Fresh eggplant from Tolstoy Farms, a vendor at the weekly Spokane Farmers Market.

Millwood Farmers Market
 | Wednesdays through Sept. 24, from 3-7 pm. Millwood Community Presbyterian parking lot, 3223 N. Marguerite. (924-2350)

Moscow Farmers Market
 | Saturdays through October, from 8 am-1 pm. Friendship Square and Main Street, downtown Moscow. (208-883-7000)

Northeast Washington Farmers Market | Wednesdays and Saturdays through October, from 9 am-1 pm. Corner of Main and Astor, downtown Colville, Wash. (675-8896)

Pullman Farmers Market | Wednesdays through Oct. 22, from 3:30-6 pm. Spot Shop parking lot, 240 NE Kamiaken St. (334-3565)

Rathdrum Farmers Market | Saturdays through October, from 9 am-2 pm. City Park on Hwy. 53. (208-640-9315)

Ritter’s Farmers Market | Saturdays through Sept. 27, from 10 am-5 pm. Ritter’s Garden & Gift, 10120 N. Division. (467-5258)

Sandpoint Farmers Market
 | Saturdays through Oct. 11, from 9 am-1 pm; Wednesdays, from 3-6 pm. Farmin Park, Third Avenue and Oak Street, Sandpoint. (208-597-3355)

South Perry Farmers Market
 | Thursdays through October, from 3-7 pm. The Shop, 924 S. Perry. (720-8449)

Spokane Farmers Market
 | Saturdays through Oct. 29, from 8 am-1 pm and Wednesdays from 8 am-1 pm, starting June 11. 20 W. Fifth. (995-0182)

St. Maries Farmers Market | Fridays through Oct. 3, from 3-6:30 pm. Downtown St. Maries, Idaho. (208-245-4381)

Tuesday Growers’ Market
 | Tuesdays through October, from 4-6:30 pm. Moscow Food Co-op, 121 E. Fifth St., Moscow. (208-882-8537)

West Central Marketplace |
 Tuesdays through mid-October, from 3-6 pm. A.M. Cannon Park, 1920 W. Maxwell. (703-7433)

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

FOOD BLOTTER: Manito Tap House owners' new project, 24 Taps opens and more

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM

More big news to break in this week's installment of Food Blotter. Earlier this week we confirmed the owners of the South Hill beer hotspot Manito Tap House have signed a lease for the first floor of the historic Broadview Dairy building, at 905 N. Washington, with plans to open a higher-end gastropub called The Blackbird

Owner Patrick McPherson tells us he'd been looking into a recently vacated retail building in North Spokane's Audubon Park neighborhood, but passed on the space because of the cost to renovate it.

The concept for the new restaurant is more upscale fare than the Manito Tap House, and with fewer handles, but as many as 150-200 bottled beers available. Currently he says the goal for opening is the beginning of 2015. 

Love @ First Bite Desserts reopened in its new Spokane Valley location, at 14401 E. Sprague, last Wednesday. 

Locally-owned bakery White Box Pies is rebranding as White Box Cafe & Bakery, and plans to expand its menu and dining areas. 

The downtown space at Lincoln and Riverside that most recently was home to Sergio's reopened last Friday as 24 Taps Sports Bar, a reincarnation of the old Heroes & Legends sports bar. 

Three Inland Northwest Bars — Bon Bon, the Baby Bar and Rico's Public House in Pullman — made it onto a list of the best Washington's 10 Bars Outside of Seattle, by Thrillist. 

Speaking of bars and beer, the date, film and brewery for the next installment of Suds and Cinema screening is...DIE HARD! It's showing Wed, Sept. 10 with beer from Twelve String Brewing Co.

King Burrito, a new food/taco truck, recently made its local debut and is serving up massive burritos at the corner of Third and Maple downtown. 

This new, downtown bar quietly opened for business last week. - LISA WAANANEN JONES
  • Lisa Waananen Jones
  • This new, downtown bar quietly opened for business last week.

Whisk, a tiny new bar (pictured above) at 17 W. Main Ave. by the owners of Pacific Avenue Pizza in Browne's Addition, opened last week.

Don't miss the last two kickoff events for the newly-expanded Inland Northwest Ale Trail — now up to 27 regional breweries. Pint's Alehouse is hosting a tasting event tonight, from 5-10 pm, and Capone's Pub in Coeur d'Alene hosts one next Thursday, Aug. 28, from 6-9 pm.

Because of a newly-introduced policy by City Councilmember Amber Waldref, the owners of the yet-to-open Tamarack Public House (expected to open in October) are hoping to benefit from a new utilities fund that would pay to upgrade an aging city water line to the building. That upgrade is needed in order to service the building's modern fire sprinkler system. 

In case you missed it, last week's issue included a story on The Scoop's new liquid-nitrogen ice cream-making process, and subsequent new house-made flavors. 

A new Grocery Outlet store in Spokane Valley, at 12115 E. Sprague, is set to open a month from today

Lake's Cakes, a new bakery specializing in cakes served in mason jars, opened at the beginning of the month in the Gonzaga area. 

A former A&W fast food restaurant on North Division that closed more than a year ago is set to reopen as a Bruchi's CheeseSteaks & Subs, a locally-owned franchise. 

Pullman is celebrating the Northwest's favorite legume this weekend, Aug. 22-23, during the 26th Annual National Lentil Festival

As of this writing, there are still tickets ($20 in advance) available [UPDATE: The event is now sold out] for Saturday's No-Li 12: Small Batch Beer Fest, the brewery's second limited-release beer tasting event.

Up in Sandpoint, Laughing Dog Brewery is turning nine, and hosting a party to celebrate, this Saturday, Aug. 23. 

Peaches are ripe for the pickin' up at Green Bluff, which celebrates the tasty stone fruit harvest through Labor Day next weekend.

Read previous food news here. Find food events here. Sign up for the Entree newsletter here.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Three Inland NW bars named among top 10 in Washington

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Any local would tell you the Baby Bar is hip.
  • Any local would tell you the Baby Bar is hip.

Thrillist, a website and daily email service that provides dwellers of the U.S.'s biggest metro areas with locally-focused recommendations, has included some of Spokane’s favorite watering holes in its list of Washington’s 10 Best Bars Outside of Seattle

Bon Bon, the tiny nook-ish bar attached to historic Garland Theater is known for serving classic old-timey drinks in a cozy, retro-themed setting. Beverages are best enjoyed before or after a movie showing (beer and wine are also available to drink during screenings for those of age), though the bar is open daily.

Downtown's Baby Bar, tucked in the back of Neato Burrito, also made the list but we've long known about its brag-worthy status. Bartender/owner Patty Tully was named best local bartender in the Inlander's Best Of readers' poll for 2013.

In addition to the list’s nod to Spokane, Pullman’s Rico’s Public House shares the spotlight as one of the college town's hip local spots that's often a performance venue for area jazz musicians.

Seeking to highlight quirky, under-the-radar spots and events, Thrillist offers suggestions for 21 different cities across the world. Though Spokane is not one of those cities, the “10 Best” list includes these three bars and others around the state as an alternative to hyped-up spots in Seattle.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Next Suds and Cinema: DIE HARD!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Well Yippee-ki-yay mother******s Suds and Cinema fans! 

We have selected the film for our next event, slated for Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the Bing Crosby Theater and it's Die Hard! Yes, the original Die Hard, not one of the four sequels. This is the one that takes place almost exclusively in a Los Angeles skyscraper and features Bruce Willis walking around barefoot while he kills terrorists/bank robbers and makes lots of puns.

In case you're wondering, yes, this action flick has aged gloriously in the 26 years since its release. Even the kids these days are getting into it, like in this episode of Workaholics. And then there was an episode of The Office in which Pete recited the entire movie from memory.

So do you like explosions? How about criminal masterminds who later end up in Harry Potter movies? Or the dad from Family Matters? Keen on ventilation ducts? Bloody feet? Christmas movies? Thought so — this is the movie for you.

The film is slated to start at 7:30 pm, but as usual, we'll kick open the doors at 6:30 pm to get the beer going. We'll announce the featured brewery very soon, too. $4 movie, $4 beer.

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